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Mother & Child Care

Dr. Vijay Singh Chauhan

A Bird’s Eye View on the care of an Expectant Mother, a mother during Child Birth and the protective care of an Infant - Ayurvedic View Points.

Since the times of Manusmrit (3500-5000 B.C.), the old magnum opus on Anthroposophy in India, a special status has been given to women in society, because a woman, like a piece of fertile land, acts as the carrier of human race (Kshetrabhutasmrita Nari).

Susruta (Approximately 1000 B.C.), one of the oldest pioneer in Surgery stipulates, "As in the outer world, the congregation of proper season, fertile land, proper irrigation and good seed ensure the production of good crop, in case of human subjects, regular menstrual cycle, a healthy uterus, proper diet during pregnancy and a healthy zygote are essential in carrying forward a healthy race".

Garbhini Vritta & Charya

(Care and Conduct during pregnancy)
A pregnant woman is advised to maintain personal hygiene by regular bathing; wearing clean and comfortably loose clothes in pastel shades, listen to favourite music and recitals; stay in the company of Near and dear ones; stay away from negative thoughts, stress factors and have a positive attitude. Such conduct generates mental peace and helps and ensures healthy growth of foetus. She is also advised to avoid physical exertion; lifting of heavy objects for a long time; hyper-excitement, annoyance and excessive laughing; compression on abdomen; abnormal postures such as continuous standing or bending for a long time and any other trauma, since these all can stress to foetus; lead to anomalies and precipitate abortion or premature labour.

Garbhini Aahar

(Diet during Pregnancy)
Easy to digest but full of nutrients recipes which do not hurt the appetite and the process of metabolism are good. Cow’s milk that is fat deficient and the ghee (Clarified butter) are good in all stages. During first trimester, a pregnant woman is advised to take food recipes which are sweeter in taste, cooling in action and semisolid in constitution so that the recipes could be relished, absorbed and give full satiation. The well-ripe rice (sixty days old) should be given along with curd (non-sour yoghurt) are highly recommended even in second trimester. From fourth to sixth months, sufficient milk and butter should be taken. For non-vegetarians, food recipes prepared out of meat are also advised during these months. In seventh month, ghrita and milk should be mixed and taken. These recipes help in proper growth of the foetus and maintain mother’s good health. An expectant mother is advised to take those food and tonics which enhance the anabolic process and help the gain in body weight (Brihan Aahar) through out the pregnancy but also ensuring that the weight gain should not be in unacceptable limits.

Garbhahita Aushadhi

(Medicines during Pregnancy)

Various decoctions specially designed are advised to be taken for nine months (Masanumasik Kashayas) to 1) promote the growth of foetus 2) maintain good health of an expectant mother 3) avert abortions and IUFD (Intra uterine foetal death) 4) and ensure the birth of a normal and healthy child.

Timely management of various diseases or pathological conditions like edema, dysentery, hyperemesis gravidarum (vomiting during pregnancy), convulsions, urinary obstruction, asthma, is also described. It has been stressed to manage routine health problems by dietetic recipes if possible, at least till the fourth month in order to ensure healthy gestational period and normal labour.

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